Review No. 59: PattiCakes Bakery (The Stoby’s Bakery)
2106 Robinson Avenue
32.4 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants
He Said: I’ve lived in Conway for 14 years and had not only never been to PattiCakes Bakery, but I had also never even heard of it until today. But She Said had it in Her Head that we were going to review a doughnut shop today as a mid-afternoon snack. The doughnut shop we pulled into closed at noon, and, our mouths prepped for sweet goodness, we went to plan B and pulled into PattiCakes instead. It was fortuitous serendipity.
She Said: I had been curious about this bakery for awhile, often noticing the cute little shop in the parking lot of Stoby’s. As many dear readers have observed, I am often watching my weight, so I don’t tend to frequent bakeries; in fact, I haven’t been a regular at Stoby’s because the desserts are so amazing, I can’t resist them once I’m there. But I’d given myself permission for a sweet afternoon treat, so now was the time. Boy, did I choose wisely (after fate messed me up by closing our original destination at noon).
He Said: This is mainly a takeout place, of course, but there is a small seating area, with a couple of tables and a counter, if you want to eat in. It’s a cozy little corner, with a small TV showing the Home and Garden channel, and a painting of a dog over some shelves that held home-baked dog treats.
She Said: Well, the main thing this place has going for it in terms of pleasant atmosphere is all the glorious bakery smells that greet you when you step in the door. Butter! Sugar! Chocolate! Bread! I think I could sit in there all day. In addition to that, it is super cute without being twee, with all the pretty baked goods as the most gorgeous décor themselves (some of those cakes are really gorgeous!). I also particularly liked the dog-treat dishes and treats area with a painting of someone’s beloved puppy. The tables are cozily tucked into sales displays without being crowded. I was very comfortable sitting down with my treat and coffee. When a mom came in with a couple of kids, and the children started gawking over all the treats and trying to choose, it became an even happier place to be.
He Said: They do have some varieties of juice in bottles here, but they have Coke products as fountain drinks, as well as serve-yourself coffee. I didn’t figure fruit juice would go very well with the chocolate I felt sure I was going to order, so I opted for a Dr. Pepper, which was just what you’d expect a Dr. Pepper to be.
She Said: I thought the weakness here was that the coffee was not strong enough. I rely on coffee to cut the sweetness of such desserts, and this didn’t do it for me. Maybe they could offer a regular option, and a “bold.” I like that it’s self-serve from a pump carafe, and that if you’re staying in, you get a proper mug. Classy!
He Said: PattiCakes is a feast for the eyes When you walk in, you see displays of whole cakes on the left, a long counter with cupcakes of all varieties, fudge that makes you want to drool, cheesecakes, piles of cookies, brownies, and lots of pies. When the server behind the counter asked me what I wanted, I could only answer, “Everything.” But after some soul-searching, I ultimately settled on a regular chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. I was not disappointed. The frosting, which was not overly sweet or very heavy or bitter from some horrible additive, was creamy and chocolatey and an inch thick. The cake was light and lovely. Believe me, I had no regrets.
PattiCakes also sells sandwiches in little lunch packages, so you could actually have a full lunch here. You can also get pita chips and, we discovered while sitting at the table downing our desserts, pre-made frozen casseroles. Having just asked Jones what she wanted to do for supper, I made the proposal that we expand our review beyond the mid-afternoon dessert snack to try one of these casseroles at home. And so, minutes later, we were heading for the car with a frozen, PattiCakes-made green-chili chicken casserole to enjoy at home that night.
To make our dinner, we followed the instructions, which told us to put it in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour if it was frozen and for half an hour if it was thawed. Ours was frozen, so we popped it in, and an hour later took it out and checked it. It was good and warm when we put it on the plates, though my piece, from the middle, was cool in spots so I put it in the microwave for 15 seconds, and it was fine.
We were actually surprised by how tasty the green-chili chicken was. It was made with chicken, enchilada sauce, green chillies, sour cream, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese and seasonings. It tasted, we all agreed, like tacos. Cheesy chicken tacos. Had I been paying more attention to the ingredients, I would have balked at the cheese and sour cream, since I’m pretty sure I blew my low-fat diet that day (especially after the chocolate cupcake), and will need to be more careful with future casseroles from PattiCakes, to try to keep my fat intake within bounds. But for anyone not on a low-fat diet, this is a really good and easy dinner choice.
She Said: I had a lot of trouble choosing my sweet treat because the offerings were multitude. I was frozen by choice for several minutes. The peanut-butter chocolate cupcakes with chunks of Reese’s embedded in the frosting got my attention right away, but I wanted to see everything on offer before making my selection. I almost felt that I couldn’t take it all in. Cookies, fudge, pie and lots of varieties of all those. They also had cannoli, which I almost felt compelled to buy, because I can almost never pass those up. I struggled with the selection among those cannoli, a red velvet cupcake and the peanut-butter chocolate, but went with the latter. It was a good choice, though, given how delicious it was, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have made a poor one.
The frosting was almost as tall as the cupcake itself, and though it was rich and sweet, it wasn’t unpleasantly sugary or fatty or heavy. The cupcake was light and airy, and still very, very rich with chocolate goodness. It was a lot of sugar for me, but it was the perfect sweet treat for the week, something special and delicious without being too much.
We hadn’t anticipated that PattiCakes would solve our daily what-shall-we-have-for-dinner problem, but we were so eager to try as much as we could from the restaurant—after I saw the croissant sandwiches they had on offer, I was regretting not coming there for lunch—we were pretty attracted to the casserole listings on the help-yourself freezer. They had quite a variety: poppy seed chicken, beef lasagna, chicken pot-pie, chicken spaghetti, manicotti, and more I can’t remember. We inquired about the heat of the green-chili chicken and were told it wasn’t too hot, so we took it home and cooked it up with ease. As Annelle would say in Steel Magnolias, it “freezes beautifully.”
And it was delicious. The casserole was the perfect size to share for three people with no left-overs and no opportunity to over-indulge. I could taste all the different cheeses distinctly, as well as the chicken, sour cream and taco seasonings in addition to the mildly hot peppers, and that to me is the criterion for successful use of heat in dishes. I always want to be able to taste all the ingredients, not just the peppers. This was perfect. It was filling, tasted fresh (though it had been frozen) and was something easy and delicious for dinner. I will be stopping in there for frozen casseroles again soon!
He Said: Very friendly service from an efficient and good-humored young lady behind the counter, who was patient with my ordering handicap and helpful in telling us the ingredients, and the relative spicy-hotness of the chicken casserole we bought.
She Said: Everyone there was very friendly, especially the counter attendant who was very patient with us as we took our sweet time (see what I did there?) to make our very important selections and when we had casserole questions. I felt very welcomed and comfortable here from start to finish.
What We Got and What We Paid: Two regular cupcakes a cup of coffee and a large Doctor Pepper for $8.47. A frozen Green-Chili Chicken casserole to go for $9.96.
Elapsed Time from Entry to Food Arrival: Well, we ordered the cupcakes at the counter, so it was about one minute. We got the Green-Chili Chicken out of the freezer in the store and brought it up to the counter later—so, another minute?
He Said: Really tasty desserts, and a great choice of take-out dinner possibilities. You might want to watch the fat content of what you get if you’re trying to be careful about such things.
She Said: Beautiful and tasty sweet treats for special occasions or just because, as well as delicious options for dinner or lunch. Eat in, carry out, or both, like we did!
So…He Said and She Said: Put this on your short list for baked goods/ sweet treats as well as lunch and dinner!
Editor's Note: Eat It, Conway is produced by local author Jay Ruud and his wife (poet and novelist Stacey Margaret Jones). The couple has begun an attempt to eat at and review, every restaurant in Conway, Arkansas. The Log Cabin Democrat and thecabin.net are publishing Eat It, Conway with permission from the authors. Visit them online at jayruud.com and on Facebook at Eat It, Conway. In addition to restaurant reviews, Ruud authors movie reviews on the site.